David Parker

PHOTO: JOHN HAWKINS/FAIRFAX NZ – Foreign buyers were likely to be paying more, but the changes aren’t likely to hurt farm prices, said Associate Finance Minister David Parker.

Any sale of more than five hectares of New Zealand land to a foreign buyer will have undergo scrutiny by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) before it can be approved.

It’s a major clampdown on the sale of farmland to foreign interests and syndicates, which Minister for Land Information Eugenie Sage said was necessary to “raise the bar for overseas investments in sensitive land.

“The existing directive from 2010 is very weak and it undermines the criteria in the Overseas Investment Act,” she said.

It generally only applied to sheep and beef farms of more than 7000 hectares.

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